NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER 2: RAGING THUNDER - Original Soundtrack by David Spear
CD includes Digital Download / Digital Booklet
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Dragon’s Domain Records, to be distributed through buysoundtrax.com, presents the original motion picture soundtrack to NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER 2, composed by David Spear for the 1987 action film directed by the legendary Corey Yuen (FONG SAI YUK 1 & 2, THE TRANSPORTER) and starring Loren Avedon, Max Thayer, Matthias Hues and Cynthia Rothrock.
Released in 1987 following the unexpected success of NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER the year before, which happened to include the theatrical debut of Belgian screen actor, martial artist, and fight choreographer Jean-Claude Van Damme and also directed by Corey Yuen, NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER 2 was intended to be a direct sequel to the first film but actually began life as a different film called RAGING THUNDER. When the original film’s stars chose not to return, the story and characters were altered to form a completely new narrative. Even though no elements of the story remained to connect it to the original film, the title was changed to NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER 2, or NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER 2: RAGING THUNDER. The film was also released in parts of the world as KARATE TIGER 2.
The story begins in Vietnam, where American college student Scott Wylde (Avedon) arrives looking for his former teacher and best friend Mac (Thayer). A former lover of Jarvis’ named Terry (Rothrock) tells Scott that Mac is likely in Patpong, a seedy area of Bangkok, Thailand. After dinner with his fiancé Sulin, a gang of tough types crash into Scott’s room kidnapping Sulin. Scott is detained by local authorities and sent to the airport to board a plane for Singapore. He escapes and heads to Patpong, where he locates and recruits Jarvis to help him invade Cambodia to rescue his fiancé. Scott learns that Sulin’s father was a famous Vietnamese general who, for the sake of his family, reneged on a lucrative deal with the Soviet militia. The next day Scott and Jarvis are ambushed by Thai police; however, Terry swoops in and rescues the pair in a helicopter. Scott, Mac, and Terry arrive in Cambodia threatening all out war in hopes of rescuing poor Sulin.
Last year, Dragon’s Domain released some work composed by Elmer Bernstein’s former collaborator David Spear. They now follow up on that promise, delivering two sequel scores that further demonstrate the range of Spear’s orchestral and electronic stylings.
Exterminator 2 (1984) features the return of flamethrowing hero John Eastland (Robert Ginty), who brings his brand of vigilante justice to New York City. The film also marks the second feature appearance of Mario Van Peebles, who would go on to bigger and better things. Spear’s score showcases the Yamaha DX-7 and Oberheim DX drum machine, equipment that lands the music firmly in the ’80s electronic style that graces so many of these essentially direct-to-video films of the era.
The score was released as a limited edition quite a while ago, but this time out, Dragon’s Domain adds an entire second disc that sequences the music as it appeared in the film. Some additional unused score segments are also included to further sweeten things. One highlight is the “Love Theme,” which features Lisa Donovan and singer/lyricist Steve Goldring. In all, this is another of the label’s many guilty pleasures for fans of ’80s synth scores.
Donovan also sings the title song for No Retreat, No Surrender 2 (1987), “Everywhere With You,” which launches us into another low budget actioner, this time set in Cambodia. Electric guitar licks lend a then-contemporary flair to a score in which strings work alongside prominent electronics. Spear’s lyrical writing stands out most in this score, which functions as another solid example of ’80s action music with a hybrid electronic and orchestral setup.
The various guitar interjections make several of the tracks feel like introductions to pop songs of the period. As with Exterminator 2, there are some alternate takes included as well, adding value to the package.
No Retreat, No Surrender 2 is the stronger of the two scores covered here, but both are worthy examples of the genre. The two albums are each limited to 500 copies and also available digitally, while samples of either can be accessed at the label’s website. —Steven A. Kennedy
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NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER 2 is a limited edition release of 500 units. NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER 2, VOLUME 2 is expected to begin shipping the week of January 10th, 2022. Composer David Spear will sign the first 50 copies of NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER 2 sold through the website.
1. Prologue/Main Title (Everywhere With You)* (3:06)
2. Scott in the Box/Bangkok (3:06)
3. Love Theme/Hotel Fight (3:50)
4. “You’re Under Arrest”/Motorcycle Escape/Snakes (4:51)
5. After Dinner Brawl (2:43)
6. Arms and Legs (3:08)
7. Preparation (2:39)
8. Balcony Scene/Welcome to Cambodia/TOLNOL/Climb Death Mountain/Centipede (4:43)
9 .Yuri’s Arrival/The Sadist (5:08)
10. The Trek/Buddist Attack (4:37)
11. Turn the Boat Around/The Real Monks/Terry’s Turn (5:21)
12 .Waterfall (2:59)
13. Dear Old Dead Dad/The Girl’s Behind Door #2 (2:34)
14 .Strategy (3:22)
15. The Pit/The Rescue (4:23)
16 .Bury Terry/The Trek II (3:14)
17. Raging Thunder Theme (1:15)
18. New Order (5:13)
19. Mozart Minuet (1:14)
20. Dear President Hussain (2:52)
21. Everywhere With You (Alternate Mix)* (2:11)
22. Waterfall (Extended Alternate Mix) (3:46)
23. Raging Thunder Theme (Edit Version) (0:53)
Total Time: 78:08
* - Vocal : Lisa Donovan
Exterminator 2 (1984) *** / No Retreat, No Surrender 2 (1987) *** 1/2
Dragon’s Domain 728
Disc One: 19 tracks - 45:32
Disc Two: 32 tracks - 66:46
Dragon’s Domain 746
32 tracks - 78:08